In my last article I started talking about calculating Return on Investment in relation to MRP Systems for small manufacturers. I went way off on a tangent about your own personal return on investment from the time you give to your business.
If you haven’t read it – you can check it out here. It turned into a bit of a life coaching session on the value of our time, and hopefully if it does not work out in the world of MRP systems I might have a another career to fall back on!
I get a very good return on my own time investment.
I can see clients of Flowlens (who I am sure won’t mind me mentioning them) such as RT Machinery reporting 25% sales uplift, Environmental Street Furniture 36% and Industrial Switchgear with 20% sales uplift after investing in our solution.
That gives me my personal ROI and sense of satisfaction that as I have said before, we are not just selling a product, we’re solving a problem.
No time like the present, right?
When asked about return on investment, we look at the potential need for future, further investment should you not address your issues/problems now.
What is the cost, both economic and human, incurred in doing things badly or inefficiently?
Th old adage of ‘this is how we have always done it’ doesn’t wash anymore, because over the last six months very few businesses can say they haven’t adapted their model at all.
We have seen necessary change just to keep functioning, right through to complete pivots in some businesses into totally different markets or service areas. No one is doing what they have always done and with employees now having seen and experienced different ways of working, everyone is looking for ‘leaner’ business lifestyles.
Inclusive Change – Get Your Team On Board
If you are thinking about what return on investing in technology might look like in your company the first thing you should do is talk to your team. Talk to the people who have just had their world’s turned upside down. Map out your business processes. Find out what they want. Where are their pain or pressure points? What would make their lives easier?
How could technology help them to spend more time on the important task of servicing clients or product delivery rather than paperwork? You might be surprised at the findings.
And, if you put a cost to the inefficient activities and wasteful habits, you’ll soon see how quickly savings can be made.
What is the total cost of a customer journey?
I think many businesses in the SME Manufacturing sector that Flowlens operates in, don’t have a grasp of their ‘total cost of sales’. They know what they buy parts in at and what they sell machinery back out at, but they do not add the cost of the ‘admin’- the running around, the time wastage, the paperwork.
An investment of a few hundred pounds per month in the right system is completely quantifiable. And, it has many real-world examples of dramatic cost reduction, improved customer experience and growth in sales.
Proof of the pudding…
One example that stands out for me is Wayne Cramer, MD of GWE Group who are a leading manufacturer of Voltage Optimiser control systems. His return on investment is saving two days per week ‘admin’; time that he has devoted to doubling turnover.
The UK Annual Manufacturing Report 2019 found that 81% of manufacturing businesses say they are ready to invest in new digital technologies to boost productivity. This is even before we had Covid-19 to contend with.
These manufacturers are worried about getting left behind. Many of these companies and others in the manufacturing sector have grown organically. They now find themselves in the position systems and people communications are creaking at the seams.
The business is operating in silos, incurring wastage, and causing operating overheads to increase year on year. Now they are have to spend more rectifying the situation to handle continued growth; or simply not to get left behind.
Why? Because they did not tackle these issues at source when they started to occur.
Start as you mean to go on
You would not start even the smallest business now without an accountancy package to assist you. If you have any level of growth expectation, why would you not also start with a MRP system? Anticipate the issues before they arise. Look forward, don’t get left behind, don’t backtrack.
I will leave you with a final thought and I promise I will say no more on ROI (for now)…
Do you think if any of those businesses, now planning to invest in trying to future proof their system, had been asked- with hindsight would they have made a small outlay in their back office system at the outset? I certainly think they would be saying it would have looked like a good return on investment.